Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the 4 Gig Idog

My wife went off for a weekend with her sisters which left our daughter and myself to look after the animals.  This includes a cat who has learned to open the front door Opposable Thumbs link and two border collies who, inspired by the cat, have learned to open the side door to our garage.  Last year, the problem was that we had a cat that insisted on running away.  This year, it’s animals that we can’t keep out of the house.  It rained on Friday night and Belle the sheltie, the only creature who apparently doesn’t know how to open at least one door on her own, was yelping at  the sliding door demanding in out of the rain.

Belle is more than a year old, so she’s not a puppy anymore, but her hobby remains chewing on anything that smells vaguely of people .  Neither shoes nor feminine hygiene products  (yuck) have been safe.  My wife lets her sleep in the bedroom, but had taken to tethering her to the bedside table with a leash.  Unfortunately, Belle had taken to chewing through the leash.  I am convinced that sheltie is a Celtic phrase for retarded beaver with fluffy coat.  My wife’s instruction before leaving went something like, “If you let her in the house, don’t let her out of your sight.”

I’d rented movies from the local video store.  After three months in Netflix, let me say that the service leaves a lot to be desired.  It’s taken me an average of three weeks to get off the “long wait” list for any popular new releases, which means by the time I get them they’re not “new releases” anymore.  Much to my surprise, my daughter was willing to watch with me rather than troll on her bedroom computer.  A third of all Americans who have appeared on reality tv shows have their own My Space pages.  So we settled down to watch Amy Smart in “Just Friends” which turned out to be just horrible.

It was like someone decided to do a whole movie based on Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s nerd cheerleader routine from Saturday Night Live, only they couldn’t sign either Will Ferrell or Cheri Oteri and they couldn’t hire a writer.  The dog started out by the couch, but apparently didn’t like the movie either.  Somewhere between the hockey puck scene and the frozen Porsche, the dog disappeared to the back of the house where I figured at worst she would hunt for more feminine hygiene products, chase the cats onto our bureau and under the beds, or scratch on the sliding door to the deck.  

I called the dog back into the living room and all seemed to be well enough until I woke up the next morning and found a pair of in the ear earphones under the bed and my daughter’s Ipod Nano, a Christmas gift, in its pink leather protective case.  It was probably the leather that attracted the dog.  She didn’t get through the case, but she managed to get her teeth into the screen which then shorted something out on the inside.  
I knew the dog was a nuisance, but I just thought the dog had better taste in music than that.  

I put the dog outside in the rain for the rest of the morning and then did my best to see if the Ipod could be rescued.  You’d think if they built a 4 gig music player that was thinner than a milk bone, that Apple would have figured out how to dogproof the thing.  It wouldn’t have happened had I been more vigilant during the movie, but I do wonder why we should keep a dog who doesn’t understand the difference between gnawing on the many rubber dog novelties we’ve purchased for her in the last year and a metal and plastic object that stands at the apex of contemporary industrial design.  

The Ipod hadn’t been sitting on the floor, my daughter had put it in her purse where she had some reasonable expectation of safety for her prized gadget.  In the meantime, I hooked up a USB cable to the dog and downloaded 3 gig of music, but it’s all old Three Dog Night albums, Donny Osmond's "Puppy Love", Elvis's "Hound Dog", and Randy Jackson saying something about a pound.  How many times can you listen to “Jeremiah Ate an Ipod” over and over again.  At least now when she barks to come inside, we have to plug in headphones to hear her.
This is one dog whose byte is worse than her bark.


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